Every Last One: Another Prosecution of the Garland, Texas Terror Attack Starts Next Month
On May 3, 2015, Garland police Officer Gregory Stevens stood his ground when two heavily armed, ISIS-inspired terrorists jumped out of their car with a plan to murder everyone they could at a free-speech event: A “Draw the Prophet Mohammed” contest.
It happened at the Curtis Culwell Performing Arts Center entrance Stevens was assigned to guard as an off-duty job. Rather than take cover when body-armored Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi began their attack with AK-47-style rifles, Stevens advanced while firing his duty handgun and shot them both down. He then reloaded with a borrowed magazine and guarded another part of the campus for a few hours. All 200 attendees and the officers assigned to protect them went home safely that day.
The relatively happy story of the Garland terror attack did not end there. Far from it -- which is a good thing for the country.
At least three federal prosecutions related to the 2015 Simpson and Soofi attack have continued to shed important light on how U.S.-based Islamist extremists -- and their bit-role sympathizers -- network, radicalize, and enable attacks in an underground ether of dangerous hate. These investigations and prosecutions also hopefully provide deterrence to those who might not be suicide-ready but are willing to provide crucial support and cover for those who are, like Simpson and Soofi.
Right now in Phoenix, another Garland-related prosecution of such a person is unfolding.
In USA v. Abdul Khabir Wahid the government is not pursuing terrorism charges, but rather two charges of lying to the FBI and obstructing its investigation in ways that would protect himself and others who enabled Simpson and Soofi. The trial is set for next month.
According to the March 2017 indictment, Wahid was among a tight circle of Phoenix-area friends in and around Simpson and Soofi. This circle would have included Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, who was convicted in 2016 on charges related to providing Simpson and Soofi with firearms training, Islamist propaganda, and money to purchase weapons and ammunition. He also egged them on relentlessly to attack non-Muslims ISIS-style.
Kareem’s court files reveal that Wahid was dialed in to all of this, but never breathed a word about it to the police -- which would have prevented any attack.
Wahid’s downfall began when he testified as a defense witness for Kareem, and pretty much hung himself. Wahid testified that he called Soofi’s brother, Ali, after the attack to say “don’t talk to the FBI.” He also testified that he was in the car when Kareem purchased a gun with Simpson that was used in the attack.
FBI agents and federal prosecutors no doubt would have taken this testimony into account in light of interviews agents conducted with Wahid right after the attack, during which Wahid spoke to FBI agents as if he knew nothing at all about anything.